Hrishikesh Desai, a 29-year-old sous chef at Lucknam Park Hotel in Wiltshire, has won this year’s Roux Scholarship.
Desai, better known as Richi, impressed judges with his execution of Brill Cherubin at the final at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London yesterday.
The Indian-born chef, who works under Lucknam Park’s head chef Hywel Jones and trained at the Institut Paul Bocuse in France, described the win as ‘an honour’.
“I think I can now believe that I am a good chef and I know that this is the perfect career path for me. Winning tonight has given me the confidence to work hard and extend my knowledge and experience. But above all, I am determined to carry on the Roux tradition and give back to others what I have been privileged to gain in my culinary career so far,” he said.
Six finalists were set the task of cooking Brill Cherubin - a classic French fish recipe – with just 45 minutes to prepare it.
A panel of judges, including members of the Roux family and chefs Heston Blumenthal and Andrew Fairlie, watched the cooking before deciding on a winner.
Michel Roux senior said: "This was a dish that demanded very precise organisation, technique and preparation. Hrishikesh is someone who totally understands cooking: he has a natural gift, balancing superb organisation with flavour. His dish was beautifully cooked - he is a very clear winner, from six high quality finalists."
Desai wins a three month stage at European restaurant with three Michelin stars, £5,000 from the Savoy Educational Trust, career-long membership of the Roux Scholars Club and a host of other prizes.
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